Great Portraits - Simple Lighting

kamil_portrait.jpgA while back I published a short article about a portrait lighting technique that I use a lot to one degree or another when making a portrait. To make a long story short the technique uses a corner as a background. The surface facing the light source will be light and happens to be on the shadow side of the subject. The opposite surface will be darker and on the highlight side of the subject. This creates contrast and depth in the portrait, setting the subject off nicely. As long as the subject is far enough away from the background it will be a nice gradation in the opposite direction the light is falling on the subject. Cool. Well a reader (Kamil) inspired by the article decided to make a self-portrait using this little tidbit and was generous enough to share it. You guessed it, the image posted at the beginning of the post.

No news here but the way he did it was amazingly clever and drives home the point that I was trying to make in my previous article. The point was to make do with whatever you have around and be creative. Corners are eaay, everyone has a corner. No need for an expensive backdrop or lighting gear to light the background differently than the subject. Well Kamil didn't have a corner. I am sure he did but not one that was convieniently located or something, you'll have to ask him. Kamil made a corner out of a light colored piece of cardboard just big enough for his head and shoulders self-portrait. Awesome idea + one window and viola - what I think is a really nice portrait. Great choice in the black jacket as well. Perfect.

Of course Kamil is also an Aperture user he has a bunch of variations of his self-portrait session here at his site. I actually love some of the black and white versions. He also has a wider shot showing his cardboard "corner" . My original article is here: simple portrait lighting.


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